Winners of two major music awards for the year’s best world album, Minor Empire is a captivating global music supergroup, born out of its founders’ love of lo-fi and their homesickness for the music of their native Turkey.
Its sound is defined by the dreamy vocals of Ozgu Ozman, which soar above an ambient bed of organic instrumentation – kanun, saz, oud, and world percussion, clarinet, guitar and bass -- to create the airy, atmospheric vibe of an updated Buddha Bar collection. Band features some of Canada’s finest musicians; Michael Occhipinti on guitar, Chris Gartner on bass, Deb Sinha on percussion.
Exclaim praised its debut album, Second Nature, for its “slinky, dub-y, Turkish soup of knotty rhythms.” Le Devoir called the sound “refined” and said Ozman weaves a most beautiful music from her Turkish roots. Songlines praised Ozman’s “pure and sinuous vocals” and “the percussion that simmers with delicious intensity without ever quite reaching a boil.” CBC Radio said the album marked “an important way forward for Turkish and world music, in general.”
Boz, project’s lead and producer, laboured over the recording for months, working to perfect the mixture of East and West, organic and electronic, traditional and trippy. His perfectionism paid off in January 2011, when the album was released to instant acclaim.
It won the 2011 Canadian Folk Music Award for World Group of the Year and the 2012 Indie Award for Favourite World Artist of the Year. It also topped the Canadian national world music chart and was nominated for an About.com World Music Readers Choice Award.